An impressive 82 percent of U.S. workers surveyed say the ability to work from anywhere at any time allows them to maintain a healthy work-life balance, yet more than half (62%) still prefer to work in the office — and this number is even higher among young workers. That’s according to a new survey by Randstad US a global provider of flexible work and human resources services.
Sixty-five percent of those aged 18-24 said they prefer working in a traditional office environment, challenging the widespread perception that millennial and Gen Z workers tend to prefer digital interactions over personal ones.
The flexible workplace disconnect
Although flexible and remote work arrangements are a top priority for employees, that’s not necessarily the case for employers, who often don’t offer any or provide enough tools to fully support them:
- Sixty-six percent of workers say they like the option of occasionally working from home or another location, but aren’t able to do so.
- Thirty-six percent of respondents report their workplaces support working from home any time and anywhere they want.
- A third (35%) of employees disagree that their employers provide the necessary technical equipment to enable them to work from home.
- Thirty percent of workers say they regularly have online or virtual team meetings via video conferencing.
Remote work arrangements drive engagement
Working from home or another location is an attractive option to employees:
- Sixty-six percent of workers say they prefer to occasionally work from home or another location.
- Eighty percent of workers say they like agile work (defined in the study as the ability to work from anywhere, anytime) because it increases their productivity, creativity and job satisfaction.
- More than half of all respondents (61%) don’t believe this type of work interferes with their personal lives, or their ability to disconnect from work.
The takeaway for employers: workers appreciate having the option to work when and where they want, but also value interacting with colleagues face-to-face in the workplace,” said Jim Link, CHRO, Randstad North America. “Employers who strike the right balance — making flexible work arrangements as accessible as possible through technology while also cultivating a thriving office culture — will succeed in attracting and retaining top talent.
3 Reasons to Rethink Remote Work
According to Randstad, 68 percent of U.S. employees say they still work in a “traditional environment,” which is defined as a location where most staff work during “business hours.” The workplace is still changing, however, due to tech that makes it possible for full-time on-site workers, remote staff, gig workers and other members of the “agile workforce” (defined as temporary, contract, consultant and freelance professionals) to function cooperatively.
Three ways more flexible work arrangements can benefit businesses and their employees:
Access to a globally-diverse workforce. Being open to remote and non-traditional workforce structures may allow the business to attract more highly skilled staff from a pool that isn’t limited by geography.
Increase employee engagement. Working remotely can increase engagement, rather than distract employees. More than 80 percent of workers surveyed say the ability to work remotely allows them to maintain a good work-life balance, and 80 percent say it increases their productivity, creativity and job satisfaction. Employers who embrace this trend will be seen in a more positive light and rewarded with a happier, more productive workforce.
Less time to hire. Businesses feel an economic impact from unfilled positions. Tapping into a remote workforce allows companies to broaden their talent pool and provide opportunities to employees with less traditional schedules. Employers who make working remotely a possibility for alternative hires can defray vacancy costs and fuel projects supported by a much deeper talent base.
See inside June 2018
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